The Benefits of Cinnamon
The simple spice, cinnamon, comes from the bark of trees of the genus Cinnamomum. It is dried and ground into the wonderfully aromatic powder that seasons so many foods and beverages. What we tend to neglect, however, is all the wonderful ways that cinnamon can benefit us in our daily lives. Here are 10 ways we can use cinnamon to give us a boost or help us heal.
Cinnamon is an Anti-Inflammatory:
Cinnamon is high in compounds, such as antioxidants, that reduce inflammation (swelling) that can cause long-term health issues.
Cinnamon Reduces Insulin Resistance:
Many studies now show that a bit of cinnamon in your diet can help your body metabolize hormones, such as insulin, in a way that your body can use it efficiently. This ISN’T a replacement for insulin if you are diabetic, but it can help if you have metabolic issues.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels:
This is especially important for the breakdown of carbohydrates, which take longer when you ingest about a teaspoon of cinnamon a day.
Helps Heart Health:
Eating cinnamon while eating a fatty meal can reduce the amount of triglycerides that are found in your blood. This might take up to 2 tablespoons to be effective.
Chewing gum flavored with cinnamon oil can boost your brain’s processing capabilities and give you an advantage during tests and studying. Tests have also shown that it reduces swelling of brain cells that are seen in traumatic brain injuries and strokes.
Helps Fight Bacterial Infections:
Eating cinnamon has been shown to fight bacterial infections. So next time you are feeling a little funky, sprinkle some cinnamon on your cereal.
Reduces Foul Odors:
Just 2-3 drops of cinnamon leaf oil in a spray bottle with water will remove nasty odors anywhere in your home. Try spraying it on the counter in the bathroom or on floor mats in your car. The wonderfully warm scent of cinnamon will neutralize odors in a ziffy.
Do you have the midwinter doldrums? Put a bit of cinnamon oil in a diffuser and watch your mood improve quickly.
Boost Weight Loss:
Eating cinnamon can boost your metabolism and keep you from plateauing when you are losing weight. Try adding a teaspoon or so of cinnamon on your coffee grounds in the morning before brewing your coffee. It can make a huge difference!
It’s High in Manganese:
A single teaspoon of cinnamon can provide you with 22% of your daily need for manganese. This often overlooked mineral is responsible for some pretty important things in your body, such as blood coagulation, bone strength, and hormones.
Not All Cinnamon is the Same
There are two main varieties of cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia. Cassia is the lesser expensive variety and the one most seen in grocery stores. It has a higher level of coumarin, which can have some negative side effects when used long term. Ceylon is a bit more expensive, but has less coumarin and is much healthier for you! Sprinkle it on your cereal, in your coffee, or over fruit for a fantastic flavor boost. NEVER eat cinnamon plain, off a spoon. It can cause you to choke or easily be inhaled into your lungs. Always put it on fruit or swallow in capsule form!